Having a dental appointment is an important step in maintaining your oral health. At Southside Medical Center in Atlanta, GA, we specialize in all areas of dentistry and are dedicated to helping you have a successful and comfortable experience. To ensure you get the most out of your trip to the dentist, here are some tips on what to avoid prior to visiting your doctor.
What Should You Avoid Before a Dentist Appointment?
Forgetting to Brush Your Teeth
Brushing your teeth before a dental appointment is incredibly important for two reasons. First, it helps to reduce plaque and bacteria on the surface of your teeth and gums, which can help reduce the amount of time the dentist spends cleaning them. It also helps to prevent potential bad breath, which can be off-putting for both you and your dentist.
Drinking Sugary Beverages
Drinking large quantities of sugary beverages before a dental appointment can disrupt blood tests that are conducted during checkups. These tests provide dentists with essential information on your glucose level and things like white blood cell count. These are all helpful in administering the right care.
For instance, if you are diabetic or have an autoimmune disorder, a full set of blood tests can give the dentist an idea of the additional steps that may need to be taken during your dental procedure. Moreover, a thorough set of pre-dental exams can help address specific concerns depending on what you’re getting treated or where in your mouth the work is taking place.
Sugary beverages increase glucose levels in your blood, leading to lower pH levels in your mouth. Low pH levels may alter the results of common dental tests such as plaque analysis. Therefore, avoiding sugary beverages and foods prior to a dental appointment can ensure that all tests are conducted safely and accurately.
Eating Just Before Surgery
It’s highly advised to avoid eating or drinking anything for at least eight hours before any surgical procedure. This allows your body ample time to process any food in your stomach prior to surgery.
Consuming food just before undergoing an operation may lead to side effects such as nausea and vomiting due to the mixing of anesthetics with food particles. Moreover, it may also slow down recovery from anesthesia after surgery since your body will need to work harder than usual to clear toxins from the bloodstream.
Eating Anything That Makes Your Teeth Feel Sensitive
Tooth sensitivity is a condition in which certain foods, drinks, and temperatures cause pain or discomfort in the teeth. When you come into the office for a dental appointment, it’s best to avoid any foods or drinks that may make your teeth feel sensitive. Not only will this help keep you comfortable during the visit, but it will also allow our dentistry team to get an accurate assessment of your current oral health status.
Wearing Too Much Makeup
Doing your makeup can be part of your daily routine. However, it can affect the ease with which the doctor operates. For example, during a cavity-filling procedure, the doctor may need to hold your face to keep it still for a few minutes. When you’re wearing heavy makeup, those beauty products can be transferred onto the doctor’s gloves and other medical equipment in use.
This mess can hinder the easy handling of medical instruments and even put treatment at risk. To ensure that you get stress-free dental care every visit, make sure you arrive with little or no makeup.
Wearing Fitting Clothes
Depending on the type of treatment, a patient may be seated in one position for an extended period of time. Tight clothing that clings to the body or restricts movement can trap heat closer to the skin, potentially causing excessive sweating. This is not only uncomfortable, but it can also lead to skin irritation and an overall feeling of unease during a procedure.
The fabric used in loose-fitting garments is usually light and breathable, allowing air circulation to keep the body at a comfortable temperature. Additionally, loose clothing allows more freedom of movement, which helps reduce muscle tension caused by any possible awkward positioning throughout the duration of the treatment. This makes it easier to stay in one position without feeling distracted from any irritating sensations caused by tight fabric rubbing against various areas of the body.
Alcohol has many different effects on the body, ranging from mild to severe. Depending on how much and how often you drink, alcohol can cause dehydration, fatigue, impaired coordination, mood disturbances, and even depression. In terms of dental treatments such as surgery, the negative effects of drinking alcohol become even more pronounced. Consuming alcohol before a dental procedure can increase bleeding during surgery and reduce healing time.
In addition, alcohol can interfere with anesthesia absorption, reducing the amount that is actually taken into your system. This means that you may require higher doses of anesthesia than usual to achieve the desired effects during your dental procedure. Additionally, it will take longer for the anesthesia to kick in, increasing the length of time spent in the doctor’s office.
Smoking can lead to a multitude of issues in regards to your oral health, including but not limited to gum disease, tooth discoloration, and an increased risk of developing oral cancer. Tobacco has numerous negative impacts on our bodies beyond just our mouths, which include heart and lung diseases, increased risk of stroke, weakened immune system, and decreased fertility.
When it comes to undergoing dental treatments such as surgeries or fillings, smoking can pose a significant obstacle to achieving successful outcomes. Those who smoke are more likely to experience complications during surgery due to reduced blood flow and oxygen supply in the body’s tissues. Smokers may also find that their bodies take longer than usual to heal due to a weakened immune system. Furthermore, tobacco use can increase the chance of infection after surgery.
Taking Pain Killers
Over the years that we have been practicing dentistry, we have encountered numerous patients who come in after having already taken an analgesic. While it may seem like a good way to manage your pain levels prior to arriving for your appointment, it can actually be counterproductive. Painkillers can mask the underlying issue and make it difficult for us to accurately diagnose and treat any issues.
Our priority is always to ensure that our patients are comfortable throughout their visit with us, and so we take the time to assess each individual’s needs to provide the best possible care. We understand how anxious or nervous some patients can feel when visiting a dentist. Therefore, during appointments, we strive to create a calming environment by addressing health concerns and any fears the patient may have.
We also discuss different anesthesia options available to ensure that our patients receive appropriate relief from any discomfort they may experience during certain procedures. These options include local anesthetics, nitrous oxide (laughing gas), oral sedation medication, or general anesthesia.
What Should You Eat the Night Before Dental Surgery?
It’s crucial to consider what you will eat the night before dental surgery. Eating a protein-rich meal is key to helping you avoid getting hungry before the surgery, as protein will keep you feeling fuller for longer. This will stop you from feeling tempted to snack on unhealthy food and sabotaging your preparation efforts. Protein-rich foods include lean meats, fish, legumes, eggs, nuts, and dairy products.
Other Benefits of Protein-Rich Meals
Protein-rich meals will provide more than just a full stomach; they are also an essential part of helping your body stay healthy after surgery. When we eat food, our bodies break down proteins into amino acids. These amino acids form enzymes, hormones, and other critical components of the body’s regulatory processes.
Eating foods containing high amounts of protein prior to surgery ensures that your body has an ample supply of amino acids. Protein provides essential nutrients for wound healing, tissue repair, and angiogenesis following surgery.
Contact Your Local Dentistry Team Today
Having a healthy and beautiful smile is achievable with the help of a skilled dentist, and at Southside Medical Center, our team provides an array of dental treatments. From cleanings to crowns and root canals, our goal is to make sure every smile can shine its brightest. Contact us at Southside Medical Center in Atlanta, GA, to book an appointment.